10 meaningful ways to spend your Eidi
What do we usually end up doing on Eid? Go for Eid parties? Hang out with friends or spend lazy afternoons on our couch flipping through the oh-so-unbearable Eid transmission programs? We spend all of our Eidi on ordering food or going out with friends. Well, what if I told you that there are better things you could do with your time and Eidi this Eid?
All of us think of doing something noble throughout the year but never actually do it, under the pretence that we don’t have the time or the resources for it. Well, why not try it out this Eid? Not only will it help make the occasion more meaningful for yourself, but it will also help you utilise your Eidi in a much better fashion.
Some of you might question why on earth you would want to spend your Eidi on something that doesn’t benefit you directly? But trust me, a random act of kindness can take you a long way. Since it’s all about practise what you preach, here is my story:
Back in 2008, my siblings and I decided to do something to make our Eid more purposeful. After a suggestion or two, we decided to visit the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) to celebrate Eid with children in the paediatric ward. Not only was the visit surreal, it was immensely fulfilling. It was wonderful to see the little faces brighten up and the adorable smiles made our hearts melt. After that one visit, my siblings and I decided to do the same every year. So every year we buy presents, snacks and juices depending on the amount of funds we collect throughout the year and then surprise those little children with all sorts of goodies. And each year brings with it a different experience, a different child, a different smile and a different kind of fulfilment. The feeling is irreplaceable.
All of this might sound like a difficult endeavour to a lot of people out there, but trust me, all it needs is a will to do something meaningful with your Eidi and a little bit of time. However, if you feel charity is not your cup of tea, then there are other ways in which you can make better use of your Eidi too.
1. Be the cause of their smile
Do you know of an orphanage or an old-house near your house?
If you don’t, visit Darul Sukun or the Edhi Home. Spend some time with those who have no one to share their happiness with this Eid. If you think you need a lot of money to get a gift for each one of them, buy a box of mithai and give each one of them a hug. Listen to their stories because all they want is someone to talk to. Crack jokes and play antakshri with them. Make them smile, even if it’s just for a day.
2. Plan an Eid milan party
I’m sure each of us at some point or the other despised those Eid milan parties that our schools hosted. Well, some never really got a chance to even have one.
Visit the nearest underprivileged school in your area and organise a small party for them. Decorate the place, get them snacks, play some games and, sing and dance with them. Ask a friend who has a DSLR to accompany you and take pictures with those little angels.
3. Do something for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
Collect all the funds that you can and send donations or packages for the IDPs of North Waziristan. They need those resources more than we do and it will turn out to be a productive use of your Eidi. If we don’t even help them on an occasion like Eid, then what’s the point of this celebration? Would you be able to enjoy Eid if you knew your sister or brother was stuck in some remote camp in the country? I didn’t think so. Just try it once and make sure you hand it over to a reliable NGO or relief camp.
4. Get someone an Eid outfit
You can help your maid, her children or her siblings, look and feel good by giving them an outfit to wear on Eid. You can even make a tantalising delicacy and send it for your maid’s children because they never really get a chance to eat a chargha or a lasagne, even on Eid.
5. Awareness campaigns
You are educated and it is a blessing. If you know more than others, it is a blessing of Allah. Make use of your knowledge, money and time to start an awareness campaign.
Gather a few friends, make a team, contribute all your Eidi, get a banner made in advance and visit the nearest slum. Help educate the poor about social issues, talk about the importance of cleanliness, help them clean their neighbourhood, motivate them to send their children to school or talk to them about the importance of polio. Take up any issue that needs to be discussed and is in dire need of some attention. Spend some time with them and teach them something by spreading awareness. They have time and you have time; why not make the best of it?
If your Eid plans include nothing but your bed and scrumptious homemade food, then the least you can do is donate your Eidi to a charity foundation. A good deed with little or no effort.
7. Take your parents out for dinner
Give your mother a break from all the cooking and cleaning this Eid. Spend some quality time with your family and use your Eidi to take them out for a nice dinner to a fancy restaurant that they’ve been talking about for so long.
If I were to go with the option of spending my Eidi on my parents, I would take them to a spa and pay for an exquisite massage therapy. Trust me, parents always need that. You can also buy something for your grandparents as well. Get their reading glasses repaired or buy them their favourite book. They’ll love it.
8. Make your younger sister or brother feel special
If you have younger siblings, give them Eidi even if they are only a year younger than you. Take them out for some dessert, watch a movie together or buy them a money box and inculcate the habit of saving money. Make them understand the culture of giving and rejoicing in someone else’s happiness.
9. Invest your money
If you have accumulated a great amount of Eidi, there are two possible ways that you can use it – either you can spend it all while partying with friends, on food and what not, or you can be smart about it and invest the money somewhere. Buy some gold, a few prize bonds, dollars or some shares from the stock market and reap the benefits of a wise decision for a longer time.
10. Pamper yourself
Save all your Eidi and buy something big for yourself that you have always wanted to get. Hold on! I don’t mean a branded HSY or any other designer dress.
Buy something that you need – an asset. Buy a smart phone if you don’t have one. Buy a wallet if you recently got mugged. Get your laptop repaired if you need to. Buy yourself a book you always wanted to read. It should be something long-lasting and useful.
We took an initiative and we love doing it every Eid. When we visit those children every year and make them smile, it makes our Eid even more beautiful and joyous.
So take an initiative this Eid. Make a difference, if not for society on the whole, do it for your family or for your own self at the least. Celebrate and enjoy the feasts but do not forget the underprivileged.
They say money can’t buy happiness. But I believe if you have all the money in the world and you are not happy, then you are not spending it properly. The fact that you are able to read this blog makes you more blessed than many others, so share your blessings with others.
Khushiyan baatne se bardhti hein!
(Happiness increases when spread around)
Eid Mubarak everyone!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.